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College Sports, Division I

New Division I Interpretation: Permissible Number of Contacts for Multisport Athletes

On March 12, 2012, the committee issued an interpretation concerning the permissible number of contacts for multisport student-athletes. Specifically, the staff confirmed that “the maximum number of permissible off-campus contacts used by an institution for a multisport prospective student-athlete may not exceed the specific limit set forth in the contact legislation for the particular sport.” The following example was used to illustrate this interpretation: “If an institution’s football coach and track coach contact a prospective student-athlete, the institution uses only one institutional contact; however, the track coach may not engage in more than three off-campus contacts, even if the coach makes contact on the same day as the football coach. Further, if the football coach already has contacted the prospective student-athlete on five occasions, the track coach only has one remaining contact.”

This interpretation referenced NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.1.4.1.5 (multiple sport athlete) and 13.1.5 (contacts); and a staff interpretation (11/09/11, Item No. a), which has been archived].

In light of this interpretation, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm recommends institutions’ athletics compliance: a) include the interpretation in the next scheduled rules-education session for the athletics staff and coaches; and b) review monitoring procedures in terms of staff contacts.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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